Obama Nominates Ambassador Ryan Crocker to the Broadcasting Board of Governors

On May 10, 2013, President Obama announced his intent to nominate retired Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker to serve as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). The WH released the following brief bio:

Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker is the Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale University, a position he has held since October 2012.  He is also the James Schlesinger Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia, a position he has held since March 2013.  From 2011 to 2012, he served as Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.  Previously, Ambassador Crocker was Dean and Executive Professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.  His 37-year career in the Foreign Service included service as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon.  He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Trustees of Whitman College.  Ambassador Crocker is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service.  Ambassador Crocker received a B.A. from Whitman College.

Ambassador Crocker takes over Victor Ashe’s term expiring on August 13, 2013. He was nominated for a new term at the BBG that expires on August 13, 2016.  We have posted here previously that Matthew Armstrong was also nominated for the BBG. He takes over the BBG position previously held by Dana M. Perino with a term expiring on August 13, 2015.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is an independent federal agency supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international media. The BBG’s mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. Broadcasters within the BBG network include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti).

The nine-person Board currently has three positions vacant pending a nomination by the President and confirmation by the U.S. Senate.  A January 2013 OIG report says that the word most commonly used to describe the BBG was “dysfunctional.”  And that “This dysfunction is attributable largely to the Board’s structure, internal governance issues, and dynamics.”

 

— DS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Officially In: Danny Russel – from WH/NSS to the EAP Bureau

On May 15, 2013, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Danny Russel as the next Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (State/EAP). The WH released the following brief bio:

Danny Russel, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asian Affairs on the White House National Security Staff (NSS).  From 2009 to 2011, he was the NSS Director for Japan, South Korea, and North Korea.  Before joining the NSS, Mr. Russel was Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs at the Department of State.  From 2005 to 2008, he was U.S. Consul General in Osaka-Kobe, Japan.  Previously, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague from 2002 to 2005, and as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus from 1999 to 2002.  From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Russel was Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.  Earlier assignments included posts at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea and with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.  Before joining the Foreign Service in 1985, Mr. Russel was a manager for an international firm based in New York City.

His bio posted on the Institute of Korean-American Studies indicates that Mr. Russel was educated at Sarah Lawrence College and University College, University of London, UK. He is married to Keiko Abo Russel and has three children: Emily, Byron and Kevin.

He joined the Foreign Service in 1985, was posted to Tokyo and according to his bio, served as the assistant to Ambassador and former Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield until 1987.

He worked twice previously with Ambassador Thomas Pickering – first from 1989-92 at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York as Political Adviser to the Permanent Representative, Ambassador Pickering, and was accredited to the Security Council.  And again from 1997-99 when he was Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador Pickering. In 1996 he was awarded the State Department’s Una Chapman Cox Fellowship sabbatical and wrote a book, America’s Place in the World, published by Georgetown University.

Click here to read this item from Dispatch Japan on a possible Caroline Kennedy appointment to Tokyo, seniority and other bureau details on this appointment.

If confirmed, Mr. Russel would succeed Kurt M. Campbell who was appointed EAP Assistant Secretary in 2009 and resigned in February 2013.

–DS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Embassy Costa Rica: La Visa Americana, Gangnam Style

Via US Embassy San Jose in Costa Rica.  The video warns about visa scammers who promised help in obtaining a visa, a job or residence in the United States.  In a starring role is Costa Rican singer Daniel Castillo and Ambassador  Anne Slaughter Andrew.

 

 

Can you spot the stars?  There’s one smiling while working the fingerprint scanner!

 

— DS